Welcome to the NHL Star Power Index: A weekly gauge of the players who are controlling substantial buzz around the league. When a player is included on this list it may not be a good thing -- it means that they are capturing a large amount of the hockey world's attention.
These players are in no particular order when it comes to the amount of buzz that they're creating. We'll revisit the Star Power Index every week throughout the regular season.
Tuesday's contest between the New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks became a family reunion of sorts as Jack Hughes, Quinn Hughes and Luke Hughes at the NHL level. While all three ended up producing points in that game, it was Devils star Jack Hughes who shined the brightest.
Hughes recorded a goal and two assists in a heart-pounding 6-5 Devils win. The Devils center became the first Hughes brother to land on the stat sheet as he assisted on a Erik Haula goal midway through the opening period.
At the 9:51 mark of the first period, Hughes was able to dig the puck free and fired a pinpoint pass toward the front of the net. Haula was in the perfect spot as he corralled the puck and delivered the forehand shot past Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko.
Later in the third period, Hughes got into the scoring column himself. At the 17:06 mark of the opening period, Hughes was able to win a face-off in the offensive zone and flipped the puck back to defenseman Kevin Bahl. Bahl quickly sent the puck right onto Hughes stick in front of the net, and Hughes was able to convert on the backhand for the goal.
In tallying three points, Hughes extended his point streak to five consecutive games. Hughes previously had a seven-game point streak from Oct. 12 until Oct. 27.
Hughes has tallied four goals and six assists over his last four games, and he's riding a four-game goal streak over that stretch. He's also registered multiple assists in three of those four contests.
Despite missing five games due to injury earlier this season, Hughes still leads the Devils in points (33), assists (23), power-play assists (12) and ice time (21:04).
Hughes continues to become one of the top centers the NHL has to offer. He's going to need to keep playing at an elite level as the Devils attempt to climb out of the bottom of the Metropolitan Division standings.
MacKinnon is one of the most dangerous goal scorers across the league, but his playmaking ability has been on display more frequently. The Avalanche star is currently on pace for 82 assists this season, which would mark a new career-high. His previous career-high came last season when MacKinnon recorded 69 assists.
MacKinnon has recorded two goals and four assists over his last four games, including at least one assist in three of those contests. The Avalanche center has still managed to pepper 20 shots-on-goal despite having more of an eye for distributing the puck to his teammates.
The Avalanche star registered a goal and two assists in a 3-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.
It didn't take long for MacKinnon to get on the stat sheet in Tuesday's game. Just 1:40 into the contest, MacKinnon charged up the ice with the puck, and he showed why he's one of the sport's best facilitators. Despite being wedged in between two defenders, MacKinnon was able to flip the puck over to teammate Kurtis MacDermid, who settled the puck down and ripped it past Ducks goaltender John Gibson.
While his assist numbers have been through the roof lately, MacKinnon also managed to put the puck into the net against the Ducks.
Late in the second period, Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson tossed the puck on net that Gibson was able to stop. However, forward Jonathan Drouin was able to secure the loose puck, and he dished it over for a bang-bang goal from MacKinnon on the other side of the crease.
There's no doubt MacKinnon is one of the most gifted playmakers across the NHL, but he's playing out of his mind right now. If this level of production keeps up, it's hard to see the Avalanche not making a deep run at their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.
The Vancouver Canucks were a struggling franchise when Rick Tocchet took over as the team's head coach last season. Now the Canucks have completely shifted their fortunes and have looked like a true contender in the Western Conference in 2023-24.
Winger Brock Boeser has been the team's most dangerous player on the ice in recent weeks.
In fact, Boeser currently leads the NHL in goals (18) after going on an offensive tear as of late. Boeser has racked up five goals across his last five games, including a pair of two-goal games over that stretch.
Boeser helped ignite the Canucks offense when they trailed 5-2 against the Devils on Tuesday. The 26-year-old was the beneficiary of some tremendous forechecking from the Canucks.
At the 7:02 mark of the third period, forward Nils Hoglander was able to race into the offensive zone and delivered a check to Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler. Siegenthaler couldn't get much on the puck as he attempted to clear the zone, and Canucks forward J.T. Miller was able to squeeze in between two defenders to corral the puck. Miller then delivered a sensational pass to Boeser in front, and Boeser was able to flip a backhanded shot home to make it a 5-3 game.
Boeser has always had a knack for scoring goals, but not quite at the level he's currently on. The Canucks winger is currently on pace to score 57 goals on the year, which would absolutely shatter his previous career-highs. Boeser's best season came in 2017-18 when he netted 29 goals 62 games.
Boeser had 18 goals all of last season, so he's clearly playing at a spectacular pace right now. Maybe this level of production isn't sustainable, but Boeser is on the verge of transforming his game.
The Canadiens recently rewarded Montembeault with a three-year, $9.45 million contract extension, and he's done everything to justify that transaction.
Montembeault has a 6-3-1 record, a 2.66 goals-against-average and a .913 save percentage in 11 games this season. Over his last four starts, the former third-round pick has recorded a 2.25 goals-against-average and has been victorious in three of those outings.
Most recently, Montembeault yielded just two goals as he stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced in a 4-2 win against the Seattle Kraken on Monday. It marked the third time over his last four games in which he's surrendered just two goals.
Given the contract extension, the Canadiens are clearly showing a sizable commitment to Montembeault. After recording a 3.42 goals-against-average a season ago, Montembeault appears to be making significant strides, and if he can keep playing at this level, he'll certainly have the opportunity to take the reigns as Montreal's starting netminder.